Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thoughts on Graduating College + Where do I go from here? + Crushing Online

In the time since I last posted, quite a bit has been going on. Nine days ago I graduated with a degree in Business Management from The University of Alabama. The completion of my degree comes a full 81 months after I first began college in August 2003. I took a 3 year hiatus and spent 3 separate semesters co-oping, so I'm not exactly the Van Wilder of The U of Alabama.

I almost cannot find the words to express how happy I am to have finished school. When I walked across the stage to accept my diploma, all the memories of grinding school work all my life sort of flashed through my head. It's hard to believe that all of that hard work led up to this. Obviously, my life has taken quite a different path now as I don't intend on using my degree.

I do strongly recommend finishing school, if at all possible, to any poker players who may read this. I'd also recommend going straight through as opposed to taking time off like I did. The last 21 months I spent in Tuscaloosa were much different from my first stint in college. I was a couple years older than my classmates and was still kinda immersed in poker.

I didn't really get too involved on campus or anything like I had been the first time around, but that's something that wasn't that important to me, and I'm at peace with it. I still had a whole helluva lot of fun, met a ton of great people, and enjoyed experimenting and learning a lot about myself during the time I spent in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

A poker player like me returning to school isn't as rare as you might think. Off the top of my head I can think of at least half a dozen poker players who've had success and still returned to finish undergrad or attend law school. I think those people are probably a lot like me. For me, it was about finishing what I started and continuing to challenge myself.

There have been times during my career as a professional poker player that I really didn't like the game and wasn't sure if it's what I wanted to do, so that was another reason I found myself back in Tuscaloosa. I'll add that the social experiences one gets from college, alone, might be a good enough reason to go back. Even if one intends on making all C's, partying all the time, chasing girls all the time, and smoking weed all the time, the experiences you'll take away can't be matched by grinding online poker tournaments 50 hours a week instead from age 19-22.